How to become LEO

How to become LEO

This is a discussion on How to become LEO within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So ive decided after getting a bachelors degree in the medical field that im not going to enjoy doing this for the rest of my ...

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Thread: How to become LEO

  1. #1
    Member Array FosterEDC's Avatar
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    How to become LEO

    So ive decided after getting a bachelors degree in the medical field that im not going to enjoy doing this for the rest of my life. Im just pretty well burnt out on it. I know it sounds crazy but bare with me. Before i started this program my goal in mind was LEO. More specifically SWAT. But was pushed into medical by family. So im back to having this in mind but im not sure how to go about doing this.

    Do i need an associates degree in some form of criminal justice? What requirements does one have to meet? Ive seen 21 or older with clean record. I can pass all of that as well as the physical fitness aspect. Also do i need to go sheriff route or state trooper route to get to my over all destination? Any help would be great guys and gals. Ive always had the protect and serve mindset and i want to follow it through.

    Thanks all. And god bless all who are currently LEO/ military.
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    I have a couple friends that are retired Leo's and all of them say it has become kinda political . A bit of bs involved but with that all jobs have some levels of bs .

    Good Luck to you as alot of Leo's here on site will be able to help .
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    My son is in the Diplomatic Security Service. His degrees (one BS, two Masters) are in aerospace engineering. At his graduation the speaker made a point of mentioning the wide variety of degrees, none of which were in any form of LE.

    I'm sure what "qualifies" one to enter an LE academy varies from state to state, department to department. Your best approach would be to contact your local LE and ask what type of requirements they have.
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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    Your state criminal justice training and standards and local community/ state college would be a good place to start looking for info. The education requirements beyond the police academy will vary from agency to agency as well. The area where I retired from most agencies required a minimum of a associates of science and some of the larger agencies required a bachelors degree. There were some exceptions on the education requirements for military veterans. Good luck!
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    Part of it depends on WHAT you find interesting. If you want to stay living in Arkansas, check with local and state agencies about what their routine duties are. In some states, all the Troopers do is hiway enforcement and accident investigation. (I would find that boring). Arkansas doesn't have all that big of metro areas (compared with say, Detroit, NYC, Dallas, Houston, etc), so your duties as a City cop would be impacted by the size of the community where you would want to serve. County Deputies get to see a wide variety of stuff--but back-up can be a LONG time coming

    If you want to stay within Arkansas, figure out what you think you would LIKE to do, and then two basic tracks: apply for opennings, interview, get sent to academy and work, OR Become a Reserve and try to find a full-time paying job while you get your foot in the door for a full-time LE job.

    If you want to work at Federal level--then there are LOTS of opportunities--but also LOTS of competition. Again, what KIND of work do you think you'd like? Research a bit.

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    Similar to what I did. I had my four year degree but was bored with it. Took some courses in criminal justice at the community college then at age 30 took exam, physical test etc for the sheriff's dept. BTW at 30 I had excellent tests scores, number 3 on the physical test as well out of many testers. I was pretty proud of that


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    Quote Originally Posted by Happypuppy View Post
    Similar to what I did. I had a my for year degree but was bored with it. Took some courses in criminal justice at the community college then at age 30 took exam, physical test etc for the sheriff's dept. BTW at 30 I had excellent tests scores, number 3 on the physical test as well out of many testers. I was pretty proud of that


    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. --H.G. Wells
    This gives me hope. Lol. I plan to do it before 30 though since im 21 now.

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    Distinguished Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    I did three years with my county Sheriff's Department after I got out of the Air Force. I had an associates degree in electrical engineering from the CCAF and eight years of electronics experience diagnosing nuclear weapons systems. I guess that impressed them. It didn't impress Boeing.

    Anyway, I got out of the business after three years of seeing some of the worst in human nature that I didn't think possible, and the worst living conditions outside of a third world country. All the garden spots of St. Clair County, Illinois.
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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lima30ret View Post
    Your state criminal justice training and standards and local community/ state college would be a good place to start looking for info. The education requirements beyond the police academy will vary from agency to agency as well. The area where I retired from most agencies required a minimum of a associates of science and some of the larger agencies required a bachelors degree. There were some exceptions on the education requirements for military veterans. Good luck!
    Well said LT. I would also add that if you already have a BS Degree and invested the time and money to obtain it, I would parlay that into a State of Federal job. Agencies like Homeland Security will of course be hiring, but you may want to look at the US Marshall Service, Federal Protective Service, ICE. Believe it or not, a medical degree is often a highly sought after recruit for agencies like the FBI and even the CIA.

    Take it from the LT and myself, it is great working local law enforcement but the higher pay is with federal agencies. There is a lot of repetitiveness it LEO work...such as working wrecks, arresting DUI's, wrestling drunks, domestic disturbance calls, etc. For every minute of "high-speed-action" you have, there are HOURS of day in and day out grunt work. SWAT is great duty, I am of the "Been There - Done That" club having worked a few years in SWAT. But the vast majority of agencies (not like NYPD, Dallas PD, Etc.) use patrolman for SWAT officers and have no full-time dedicated SWAT officers who only answer SWAT Team call outs. This is the life of a patrolman in many jurisdictions.
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    Member Array FosterEDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostMaker View Post
    Well said LT. I would also add that if you already have a BS Degree and invested the time and money to obtain it, I would parlay that into a State of Federal job. Agencies like Homeland Security will of course be hiring, but you may want to look at the US Marshall Service, Federal Protective Service, ICE. Believe it or not, a medical degree is often a highly sought after recruit for agencies like the FBI and even the CIA.

    Take it from the LT and myself, it is great working local law enforcement but the higher pay is with federal agencies. There is a lot of repetitiveness it LEO work...such as working wrecks, arresting DUI's, wrestling drunks, domestic disturbance calls, etc. For every minute of "high-speed-action" you have, there are HOURS of day in and day out grunt work. SWAT is great duty, I am of the "Been There - Done That" club having worked a few years in SWAT. But the vast majority of agencies (not like NYPD, Dallas PD, Etc.) use patrolman for SWAT officers and have no full-time dedicated SWAT officers who only answer SWAT Team call outs. This is the life of a patrolman in many jurisdictions.
    Thanks! This is some great info. I really thought hard about US Marshals but figured id have to do another 2 years in criminal justice atleast. And i figured id need years of field work as a regular patrol officer before going into somthing like that. Are you saying i could possibly go strait into that type of position? Is so that would be amazing.

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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I do not know what the path is now but back when SWAT was not a unit you just went and signed up for it was time and training and when a slot was open you were given a chance to fill it. As everything else time changes standards and I do not remember anyone being under 30yrs old in the era I am referring to.

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    You don't need a crim justice degree. IMO, its about a worthless degree. You've got a paper, thats all that really matters. LEO knowledge needs to be very diverse so what your degree is in doesn't matter a whole lot. LE isn't rocket science, but you do need a strong work ethic and plenty of common sense.

    About state vs. fed vs. local... Choose your path wisely. Choose your department and local wisely. All agencies don't pay the same. Personally, you couldn't get me to work a state or federal job. I'd strongly suggest you compare other states and agencies within your home state. I remember being offered a job with a large S.O. in the south; the sheriff was proud to be able to offer me a whopping 15.00 a hour. I enlightened him on the pay scale up north and his jaw dropped... it pays to do your homework.

    Forget about SWAT now. Don't even let it enter your mind or exit your mouth. That comes down the road. Most teams will not even look your direction until you have 3-5 years under your belt. Don't be a tackle berry. If a young kid I was interviewing told me he wanted SWAT, that would be a major red flag and I'd probably not hire him. Its fine to have goals and aspirations, but understand those spots are earned.

    Now, get out there, do your homework, watch the papers for up coming entrance tests and start testing. test for every one that comes along, no matter if you actually want the job or not. test! The more you test, the better you become at taking the tests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wunderneun View Post
    I did three years with my county Sheriff's Department after I got out of the Air Force. I had an associates degree in electrical engineering from the CCAF and eight years of electronics experience diagnosing nuclear weapons systems. I guess that impressed them. It didn't impress Boeing.

    Anyway, I got out of the business after three years of seeing some of the worst in human nature that I didn't think possible, and the worst living conditions outside of a third world country. All the garden spots of St. Clair County, Illinois.
    Venice eh? A real garden spot!

    You must have been at Scott.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Requirements to join Milwaukee Police department.
    Show up
    High school grad
    No felonies convictions( some wavers can be had)
    You get a head of the line pass if you are
    Of the correct race
    Gay/transgender
    No post high school education needed on LE schooling is needed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty901 View Post
    Requirements to join Milwaukee Police department.
    Show up
    High school grad
    No felonies convictions( some wavers can be had)
    You get a head of the line pass if you are
    Of the correct race
    Gay/transgender
    No post high school education needed on LE schooling is needed.
    We get it you don't like Milwaukee PD. Time to move on.
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